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Thursday, April 26, 2012

NYC Apr12: Social Eatz

Saturday night we were back in the city (after attending a friend's wedding out in Great Neck). I had made a reservation at Social Eatz, the new restaurant of Chef Angelo Sosa from Top Chef Season 7 and Top Chef All-Stars.

The restaurant just celebrated its one year anniversary this past Tuesday! Congrats!!

Social Eatz
232 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
(212) 207-3339
Price: $$

I had a feeling the chef might be there so I really wanted to go and meet him. He was a fierce contestant in Top Chef and made it very far into the competition. From watching him on the show, I expected his food to be very good!

Chef Angelo is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Social Eatz and they do Asian inspired American comfort food. It is also's Greatest Burger in America Competition winner (for the Bibimbap Burger).

It's a small, trendy place. Dark lighting and paintings on the walls. I noticed him at the bar just as we walked in. I'm so excited! :)

After getting waters at the table, I asked the waitress if we could meet the chef. He came to greet us soon after. He's so nice and very welcoming. Of course I got my picture taken with him! :P And he's sooo tall. Even taller than he looks on TV. He was very friendly and appreciative that we came from Dallas to visit his restaurant. And after we made our orders he came over with some complimentary shots. And he took it with us! Nice!

I think he said it was a Watermelon Margarita? I'm not quite sure since I was too happy to pay attention. haha. But it was pink and pretty and rimmed with pink peppercorns. I'm not a big drinker and the shot was a bit strong for me. But my favorite part was the pink peppercorns. It was very interesting and helped lighten the alcohol kick at the end.

For our meals we got...
Bulgogi Burger (cucumber kimchi, charred onion mayo; served with Kimchi Fries) $16~

I shared this with my friend because neither of us were really hungry. We substituted the Kimchi fries with Togarashi Fries. Togarashi is a blend of Japanese spices normally used when you have Japanese udon or ramen. The burger was pretty awesome. The meat was perfectly cooked and super juicy. The bread was soft but yet held up to the sauce well. And the flavors were great. I think the charred onion mayo really brought the whole thing together. The fries were cooked well and I liked the Togarashi on top.

All the burgers were served on old school Chinese style plates. We thought that was pretty awesome and hilarious. Never thought we'd be served burgers on plates like these. hahaha.

The rest of our group all got the Bibimbap Burger (slow cooked egg, korean pickles; served with Kimchi Fries) $17~ Since it did win the best burger title! hehe.

It looked yummy and tasted even better. Again, the meat was cooked perfectly. There were a ton of veggies on there and the egg was fantastic. Just slightly runny but not enough to explode all over your hands. It was still a messy burger, but in a good way. I liked this better than the Bulgogi burger. However, I agree with my bf that it isn't really a bibimbap burger. I'd say it's a loose translation of it. Since it didn't have the token red (gochujang) chili sauce and some other typical ingredients in a bibimbap. But his concept is Asian "inspired" so I'm not going to get all technical on that. All I care about is that it was delicious. The kimchi fries were also good, but none of us could tell the difference between that and the Togarashi fries. haha. We all expected the kimchi fries to have actual kimchi on top. But I asked the waitress and she explained that they used spices to mimic the flavors of kimchi, such as gochujang and shrimp powder and some other spices. I didn't get kimchi from it but it was still tasty.

It was a very delicious meal. A bit pricey for a burger, but in NYC I guess it's normal? It's definitely one of the better burgers I've had in my day. (Although I think LA Burger in Irving is still top notch! :) And it was great meeting the chef!! The only complaint is that the restaurant was a bit too dark. There were some lamps here and there but our table didn't have one. It was really hard to read the menu. And I'm all about eating with your eyes first! I wished we could see and appreciate the food even more! But definitely go check out the Bibimbap burger and I've also heard the ribs and pork belly buns were good!

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